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Groundbreaking marks start to redevelopment of former industrial site

By , - Last modified: March 24, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Somerset Development and AvalonBay broke ground Wednesday on the Avalon at Wesmont Station development, in Wood-Ridge, a transit-oriented neighborhood that's the 14th luxury apartment development by AvalonBay in New Jersey.


From left, U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman, Wood-Ridge Mayor Paul Sarlo, Ron Ladell and Ralph Zucker attend the Avalon at Wesmont Station groundbreaking. (Courtesy Somerset Development)

The groundbreaking began the physical stage of redevelopment of the old industrial property that was nine years in the making, according to Ralph Zucker, president of Somerset Development and master designer of Wesmont Station.

“We are excited to see Avalon at Wesmont Station get off the ground today. As we continue to develop horizontal infrastructure, it is encouraging to see the beginnings of vertical construction taking place,” Zucker said.

The project includes four buildings of at least four stories, with a total of 406 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, according to the companies. The development also will have a five-story parking garage, an outdoor pool, a fitness center and 27,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor.

00abSomerset Development also has a contract with NJ Transit to construct a new train station within walking distance of the development.

“Large-scale development, especially of a former industrial area, in this economy is not an easy endeavor,” said Mayor and state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge).

Occupancy is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2012 and continue throughout the year. The new train station also is expected to be complete within that time frame.

Future developments, in addition to the Avalon buildings, are expected to include single-family homes, townhomes and live/work townhomes, all with a focus on being friendly to pedestrians.

E-mail Melinda Caliendo at mcaliendo@njbiz.com

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